BOARD OF DIRECTORS MINUTES – Meeting of May 2, 2016

PRESENT:  Matt Ruben, President; Michael Coyne, Vice-President; Steve Richman, Treasurer; Janet Finegar, Secretary; Troy Crichton; Larry Freedman; Jesse Gardner; Sasi Judd; Monika Kreidie; Jeremy Lindemann; Don Phillips; Barbara Saverino; Chris Somers; Anne Waginger.

The meeting was called to order by the President at 7:02 p.m.

Motion: By Sasi Judd, seconded by Chris Somers:“To approve the minutes of the April Board meeting as presented.”  Passed 12-0-0

President’s Report: by Matt Ruben

President’s Report, May 2016

  1. PLANNING, DEVELOPMENT, AND POLICY
  • Piazza/Liberties Walk – Coworking company WeWork is slated to open June 1 in a previously unused portion of the Tendenza building (building with the jumbotron on it). Wahlburgers (former Darlings space in the oval building still owned by Tower Investments) has come in to zoning for their liquor license transfer. A new brewpub is slated to open in the old King’s Oak space. And Philly Tech Week is holding a major event in the plaza on May 5.
  • Construction Impacts – Lots of discussion about this at the April 27 general membership meeting. We can discuss this at our board meeting.
  • Spring Garden – DRWC says they’ve been doing testing of the lighting, and the entire installation is expected to be done no later than. DRWC will have a ceremony when it’s time for the lights to be turned on.
  • Business Improvement District (BID) – We are waiting to hear from the Commerce Dept about the status of planning funds they’ve applied for. In the meantime, Fishtown is getting a steering committee together, and I intend for us to do the same by reconvening the business owners’ group that coalesced during our meetings a year or so ago. Any board member is welcome to be involved, and I know Chris Somers remains interested in being a key liaison on that regard.
  • Madison Memorial Park – Any update will come from Barbara.
  • Bamboo WiFi – Bamboo WiFi will formally kick off its “N3RD St.” public internet network for the neighborhood at a Philly Tech week open forum on May 7. Details at http://bamboowifi.com/press/bamboowifi-to-open-n3rd-street-network-at-open-forum-may-7-2016
  1. FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
  • PTSSD Grant – Update from Steve, including an important note about the need for us to volunteer at key points throughout the process.
  • May Board Elections – Update will come from the Election Committee.
  1. EVENTS AND OUTREACH
  • General Membership Meetings – The April 27 Quality of Life meeting was well-attended and featured a wide-ranging discussion. May 19 is the election meeting and currently we have one other item on the agenda. I am open to suggestions for additional agenda items – nothing that would be quite as big as the quality of life one, but something interesting that will add a draw for attendance.
  1. COMMUNICATION AND PUBLICITY
  • Internet – All seems to be well, and growing. The Facebook Group increasingly has become a focus for community complaints, which is understandable as the membership has passed 2,000 and in the next year or two may exceed that of the email list (currently at about 2,800).
  • Board Polls – Ratification of any online or online board polls since last month’s board meeting.

Motion: By Barbara Saverino, seconded by Don Phillips. “To ratify the board poll taken in April regarding repairs at the community center.”  Passed 13-0-0

 

Treasurer’s Report: by Steve Richman

TREASURER’S REPORT – MAY 2016

  1. 2015-16 Budget: April Financials – tables attached
  • For the seven months ended on March 31 st all funds income was $179,532; this was $105,429 more than projected, due mostly to the receipt of $100,000 from Penn Treaty SSD. Expenses totaled $108,950, which was $35,525 more than anticipated – again, largely due to grant-related expenses. Net income was $70,582 – $69,904 more than projected. These amounts include $100,750 in income from grants and about $41,500 in grant expenses.
  • Excluding grant fund activity yields a more accurate representation of our financial position. Thus, if we limit the calculation to income and expenses from the General Fund and Liberty Lands accounts, our financial position after the first seven months of the fiscal year is as follows:
  1. GF & LL Income: $78,782 — $5,429 more than anticipated.
  2. GF & LL Expenses: $67,477 — $3,033 less than anticipated.
  3. GF & LL Net Income: $11,305 — $8,462 more than anticipated.
  • Significant variations from budgeted projections through April include:
  1. Net income from fundraising activities was nearly $1,400 higher than anticipated. The most significant contributing factor was the Annual Appeal, which was $2,500 higher than projected, and the Winterfest, which was $1,400 higher. Separately, corporate donations totaling $5,805 were received from PTSSD for Operation Santa, Krampuslauf, the Fall Fest and Winterfest. Thus far, expenses for the events funded by PTSSD have totaled approximately $4,940. Any remaining unspent funds (about $865 thru April 30) will have to be returned to PTSSD.
  2. A shortfall in individual donations, candy machine income and donations for Clean Streets offset the higher revenues reported above. Thus far, no revenue for Clean Streets has been received. In addition, while a $1,000 Activities Grant for Liberty Lands was received from the City, the budget anticipated that the grant would total $1,500.
  3. Spending was lower than anticipated for repair and maintenance (-$2,350). The difference is almost entirely due to slow billing and seasonality. Spending was also lower than anticipated for professional services and program services (-$2,200).
  4. Other Items
  • Capital Grant from PTSSD – As reported previously, PTSSD has awarded us a capital improvement grant of $178,000. Funding was approved to repair the exterior of the community center, renovate the basement and portions of the first floor, make substantial improvements to the yard and purchase new furnishings for the office, the basement and the main room on the first floor. In February we received $100,000. The balance – $78,000 – will be made available in November. To date, we have spent approximately $38,100 for renovations and improvements to the basement and the first floor, and repairs to the exterior of the building. This spending has generally been in line with expectations.
  • Board Poll – In April I initiated a board poll to request authorization to spend up to $1,600 from the Reserve Account for additional repair and restoration work on the exterior of the community center. The Board approved this request without objection.

Motion: By Larry Freedman, seconded by Jesse Gardner. “To accept the Treasurer’s report as presented.”  Passed 13-0-0

 New Business:

Don reminded the Board that the Music Fest will be June 4 and that volunteer help is always needed.

Election Committee Report: by Troy Crichton.

Troy reported that the committee has been assembled and the nominations were taken for the upcoming board election. 15 people were nominated for the Board, at this point 8 people have accepted the nomination.

Liberty Lands Committee Report: Janet Finegar: written report attached and reviewed.

Liberty Lands is doing well. Don negotiated a contract with a professional mower, so the grass should be much better this year than last year. (Thank you, Don!). Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is figuring out how to re-do the brick path that runs east-west through the park to make it wider and smoother (better for people with any kind of walking uncertainty) and also solve the puddling at the west entrance and the weird running-to-nowhere east end. They will fund this. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, a magical donation and donation-promise showed up at the workday to fund fixing the erosion issues at the Wildey/Bodine Street path. The workday was decently attended considering it conflicted with city cleanup again (arrgh) and we got a lot done. The park looks great and people are happy.

Operations Committee: Anne Waginger and Monika Kriedie:

Work on the renovations at the community center are moving along. Monika raised the issue of the painting on the first floor: the office and several small areas of the first floor still need to be painted, and the committee is deciding whether they should continue to seek volunteer help for the painting or have the professional who will paint the office handle it. Matt reminded the group that the PTSSD grant for the renovations is predicated upon a good contribution of volunteer labor and that the Board should lead in that support.

Zoning Committee Report: Larry Freedman; written report attached and reviewed.

Motion: By Anne Waginger, seconded by Jesse Freedman. “To approve the recommendation of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 600 N. 5th Street, i.e.: ‘Thank you for your presentation. Please return to the Zoning Committee with the following: 1) sight lines into the neighboring community under construction; 2) a better representation of the north boundary; 3) description of the property line fence material; 4) details of the hardscape materials; 5) landscape plans with dimensions and species detailed; 6) drawings in context with homes being build on 5th Street; 7) exterior lighting plan; and 8) location of meters if not located in basement.’”  Passed: 14-0-0

 

Motion: By Monika Kreidie, seconded by Barbara Saverino. “To approve the recommendation of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 608 N. Galloway Street, i.e.: ‘We support this project as presented. Please go to the UDC to present a materials list, meter location plan, trash plan and snow removal plan.’”  Passed: 14-0-0

 

Motion: By Janet Finegar, seconded by Sasi Judd. “To approve the recommendation of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 909 N. 2nd Street, i.e.: ‘We support this temporary extension of premises with the following provisos: 1) Develop and implement a sound deadening plan. 2) The use of the parking lot for food, beverage service and activities is limited to the continuing approval of the neighbors. If the neighbors complain about the noise with the sound deadening plan in effect, the outdoor arrangement must end, and 3) The hours of outdoor operation for food, beverage, music and activities is limited to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.’”  Passed: 14-0-0

 

Motion: By Jeremy Lindemann, seconded by Steve Richman. “To approve the recommendation of the Zoning Committee in the matter of 1033 N. 2nd Street, i.e.: ‘We support this proposal as presented to transfer this LCB license.’”  Passed: 14-0-0

 

Matt reported to the Board regarding the old St. John’s Church property on the 1000 block of 3rd Street, the new owner of which has received a permit from the city to establish four parking places in the existing front courtyard of the building. The owner previously applied to the NLNA for zoning approval for the parking places and was refused, but was able to secure the permit “over the counter” by stating that the parking was for the first floor commercial planned for the building. Matt and Larry are investigating whether the permit was inappropriately issued.

Motion: By Jesse Gardner, seconded by Sasi Judd. “To authorize the NLNA to appeal the permit for auxiliary parking at 1028 North 3rd Street if the ongoing investigation into the permit suggests that this is appropriate.”  Passed 14-0-0

 

Old Business

Monika asked about the status of the new parking garage at the Piazza: it was confirmed that the garage is for residents and that there are currently not plans to open it to other users as well.

Jesse reported that he and Sasi are working on the display maps for the Community Center, and are considering a triptych of a very old ground map, a historical map, and a current neighborhood map.

The meeting was adjourned by acclaim at 8:24 p.m.

Addenda:

Zoning Committee Meeting Monday 4/25/16

Members present: Larry Freedman (chair), Charlie Abdo, Anthony Bottenfield, Kenny Grono, Chris Isaacson, Joe Mikuliak, Sharon Richman, Jonathan Sher, Michael Simons, Abbey Spector, Ira Upin Members absent: Melissa Magness,

723 N. 6th St.– ICMX – Herc Grigos : A (quick) return visit with a proposal to show final plans (approved by NLNA Board) for a 5-story building with 26 residential units/14 parking spots/first floor commercial and 2 residential units starting on the ground floor.

March 2016 Motion:   We can only support this project as a 5-story building with 24 units and 17 parking spaces. Please return with: 1. comprehensive list of materials and colors; 2. show elevations in context with adjacent structures; and, 3. the street level residence should be ADA compliant. BOARD CHANGE: We support the revised proposal for 723 N. 6th Street for a 5-story building with 26 residential units and 14 parking spaces. The building will have a commercial first floor with 2 of the 26 residential units also on the first floor. The developers agree to meet with the Urban Design Committee. They presented finalized plans to the neighbors after including UDC recommendations. Windows were added to the stair tower. A lighter color brick was used. There is an open air interior courtyard for floors 2-5. The building is 55’ high and 5 stories.

 

600 N. 5th Street – ICMX – Herc Grigos: A proposal for 43 townhomes with 52 parking spaces. Architect: Shimi Zakin. Developer: Perelman.   Type A – 33 @ 4-story houses (4 bedrooms/3.5 bathrooms/1 car garage)   Type B and C – 10 @ 4-story houses (4 bedrooms/4.5 bathrooms/2 car garages) All have roof decks accessed through a pilot house. Homes are entered through a pedestrian walkway, not a driveway. All homes are 43.7” high. They are building on 50% of the lot. There will be an HOA. The city will pick up trash for homes on 5th and 6th Streets. The HOA will arrange for private trash pick-up for the 25 interior homes. Materials are heat treated poplar, brick, Hardie panels near windows, painted metal balcony railings. Discussion: Some thought the buildings were too high but they are actually the same height as the adjacent development under construction. The provision of more parking than is required was a positive.

Motion: (Joe) – 2nd (Anthony) Vote: 8-0   Thank you for your presentation. Please return to the Zoning Committee with the following: 1) Sight lines into the neighboring community under construction; 2) A better representation of the north boundary; 3) Description of the property line fence material; 4) Details of the hardscape materials; 5) Landscape plans with dimensions and species detailed; 6) Drawings in context with homes being build on 5th Street; 7) Exterior lighting plan; and, 8) Location of meters if not located in basement.

 

608 N. Galloway Street – RSA5 – Nino Cutrufello: A proposal for 7-single family dwellings. These houses are similar to the adjacent houses previously approved and are, in effect, Phase II, of that development. There are 6 side-by-side houses, with a 7th house built over the drive aisle. The materials are light corrugated metal at the top, weathered steel in the middle, and wood at the bottom with a metal garage door. The height is 39’6”. These houses would be part of an HOA (multi-family). They are expecting a refusal for the multi-family in an RSA5 zone. Discussion: Use same materials as previously approved houses.

Motion: (Kenny) – 2nd (Jon) Vote: 7-1 We support this project as presented. Please go to the UDC to present a materials list, meter location plan, trash plan and snow removal plan.

 

909 N. 2nd Street – CMX 2.5 – Oron Daskal: A proposal for outdoor service in the parking lot for temporary warm weather use. This proposal requires an “extension of premises”. Bar and food service in the parking lot would include the addition of 3-5 tables, 15 bar stools, shuffleboard, lights and music from May 1 – September 5, from noon to midnight, 7 days/week.   The area would be separated from the sidewalk with large planters and trees acting as a fence. Discussion: Neighbors were not happy with the anticipated noise and the late hours. The parking lot would act like an echo chamber. Sound deadening year-round is necessary.

Motion: (Joe) – 2nd (Kenny) Vote: 7-0-1 We support this temporary extension of premises with the following provisos: 1) Develop and implement a sound deadening plan. 2) The use of the parking lot for food, beverage service and activities is limited to the continuing approval of the neighbors. If the neighbors complain about the noise with the sound deadening plan in effect, the outdoor arrangement must end. 3) The hours of outdoor operation for food, beverage, music and activities is limited to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

 

1033 N. 2nd Street – CMX3 – Joe Volpe: A proposal to transfer LCB license (was Darllings – will be Wahlburgers). Hours of operations: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. weeknights 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday Beer and alcohol will be served. The south side patio (facing the Piazza) will accommodate 40 people. There is no outdoor music. June 27 is the soft opening.

Motion: (Jon) – 2nd (abbey) Vote: 8-0   We support this proposal as presented to transfer this LCB license.